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ministry. His moral character through to retire into the vestry without saying life was mercifully preserved from any anything. Mr. Burnham followed him, particular stain. His sympathy with the saying unto him “never mind, John, afflicted was great, and his acts of bene- try again ;” which he afterwards did, volence to many a christian brother will and experienced a greater freedom and never be known till the day of revealing boldness; he then continued preaching secrets arrives. Yet he had his faults, of a Wednesday evening at Graftonand the following scripture took hold on street, till he was further called out. I him as well as us, and he knew and felt presume about this time it was, that his it-There is not a just man that liveth friend Dr. Hawes, perceiving the proand sinneth not. But he is gone to bability of his being a renowned realize in his own person for ever the preacher, aimed to draw him off from perfection he had from everlasting in his the Baptist connection, by observing to exalted head, and which he often appre- him that he was aware her Ladyship hended in the appropriations of a living would not allow particular Baptists to faith."
preach in her pulpits, but if he would [From a letter written by our brother Al
but lay that one particular thing aside, derson, we make the following extracts :
he would make him a great man; using 6 It pleased the great head of the
the usual arguments, (viz.,) it was of no
| essential importance; and many learned church to remove from this vale of tears, that eminent man of God, Mr. John
and great men was on the other side of
the question, &c. When Mr. Stevens, Stevens, of Meard's Court, Soho, who departed this life on Wednesday morn
young as he was, offered to enter the
field with him on the point to which the ing, October 6th, 1847, at about half
Dr. objected, and the matter terminated past 8 o'clock. Our departed brother,
er; by Mr. Stevens observing, that since he it appears was brought up under parents who moved among what was generally
the Dr., a master in Israel, declined called the Countess of Huntingdon's
any entering the field of controversy with a
con's stripling like him, his cause of pædoconnection; his father was for some time clerk at Zion Chapel, Whitechapel;
| baptism must be bad. Thus was Mr.
i Stevens enabled to commence his probut when his son John came to be
9. Defession of divine truth and ministerial settled in London, he left that situation,
| career with the same decision of mind and became a constant attendant on his
n mishe afterwards so strikingly evinced. son's ministry.
He, for some time, laboured at St. “At a very early period of his life he
Neots', Huntingdonshire, after which was familiarly known to the celebrated Dr. Hawes, chaplain to Lady Hun
he was settled at Boston, Lincolnshire ;
from whence he came to London at tingdon, who said concerning John
about the year 1811.* The members of Stevens, when a child, that he was im
the church under the care of Mr. Burnpressed he would prove a great man. In his further immerging into life, he at
ham, after his decease, would at their tended to the trade of boot and shoe
prayer meetings entreat the Lord to making, though it hath been remarked
send them a pastor after his own heart, he never could make a proper fit.
to go before them and feed them with “ When a young man he attended on
knowledge and understanding; but when the ministry of Mr. Richard Burnham,
such a man was truly sent in the person
and ministry of John Stevens, they relate of Grafton-street, Soho. At that
jected it, but God stood by him; for very time in person he was a tall, slender
soon Grafton-street meeting was too young man, exceedingly plain in his habits, steady, quiet and reserved; and
small for the congregation : the writer it was during his attendance on Mr. B.'s ministry that his mind became im
* It hath been said as authentic, that
when Mr. Stevens left the church at Grafa pressed and stirred up with desires to preach, but thought he never could. At
ton-street, to be settled as a minister in the
country, that Mr. Burnham then observed, length it was made known to his pastor,
his pastor, 1 referring to Mr. Stevens, almost in the Mr. B., who wished him to try ; accord-spirit of prophecy, “he will prove a peculiar ingly it was appointed he should exer- preacher to a peculiar people, but into my cise his gifts before the church; the first pulpit he shall never enter while I live ; " time of which he failed, and was obliged feeling, it is presumed, a spirit of jealousy.
hath witnessed near upon two hundred | glories of the God-man, as set forth in waiting in the streets, before the doors the word of God; Christ as the everof the meeting were opened. From lasting God; and the exalted man ; in hence he removed to York-street Chapel, union, “he delighted to honour.” The St. James's-square, an immense large excellencies of Christ were the excelchapel, but which was also speedily lencies of his ministry. The enthron. filled. There he continued a consider- ment of Jesus was the foundation of his able time, preaching with great ability hope here, and his happiness hereafter. and success the glorious doctrines of « On one particular point, Mr. Stevens divine grace.”
was opposed by many eminent servants of God; but it shook him not. Mr. S.
was not "given to change." I must REVIEW OF MR. STEVENS's MINISTRY
confess he has fought well, and quitted SOME OF HIS LAST WORDS.
himself manfully; whether successfully, [We have been favored with the following is not my object of investigation.
interesting reflections on Mr. Steven's “ The ruin and wretchedness of the Ministry, by our esteemed christian sinner had not the chief prominence in brother, Henry Watmuff. It will well his ministry. He deeply lamented the serve to recall some of the happy seasons I depths of the fall in himself; he painwhich hundreds have realised while hear
fully felt the deceitfulness of the heart, ing sentences like unto those here re
as the vile workings of inbred corrupcorded, falling warm from his lips.]
tions. But these were not spread before “ The unsparing hand that destroys all the people to catch fire at; or, as "the flesh, hath, during the past month, been feast of fat things." This was not seen visiting our churches. John Ste- gospel wine to him to hand out, although vens is gone from his earthly to his so much dwelt upon by others. heavenly house! Yes! John Stevens « The last sermon I heard him preach is gone! He was a spiritual warrior of was at Snowsfields, for a collection for no mean skill for full half-a-century, Mr. George Francis, (August 23rd) from (about thirty-six years of which he the words_“It is finished.” A few of laboured in London). He was called his observations may serve as an illusby the grace of God at an early age, tration of his general style :- he said, and mercifully preserved from many of "The obscuration of Christ's person was those evils which often break out, and finished. He was in a body in which but throw a cloud of darkness over the mi. little glory was seen. But, embodynistry of some of the dear servants of ment is now no obscurity to his glorified God. I heard him say at the Lord's person, his body serves as a crystal glass table, on the 4th of July last—" It is to see him through. “It is finished,” six and thirty years this day since I faith finds the work all done. There delivered my first address in this city, is no disgrace in wearing ready made from these words—"For I determined clothes. Nothing can be added to the not to know anything among you save Saviour's work. Some say,—"add reJesus Christ, and him crucified.” The pentance, works, faith, prayer. Oh! church must judge (he said) how far I don't put these to finish his work. It have endeavoured to fulfil my office. is well done. It remains the same still! I have great reason for gratitude that It will be triumphant in spite of all. It the Lord has preserved me so many will stand upright when his enemies are years in one of the greatest cities in the flat on their faces! There is no doubt. world.”
ful salvation; no offered grace with “ The sum and substance of Mr. Ste-God. He died for his sheep. I have vens's ministry from first to last, was the always held that sentiment as erroneous uplifting, telling out, and making known and dangerous, that has a tendency to the personal and mediatorial glories of lead away the thoughts from Christ to the Son of God; the Christ of God in self. It is a well done work; the Father his complex natures ; distinguishing, and is not ashamed of it; the Holy Ghost is giving the highest glory to each. The not ashamed of it; he is always holding Son of the Father as complex, was the lit up; and making an open exhibition basis of his ministrations. His soaring of it. What man, who has bad goods, mind revolved in powerfully expaciating places them on his shelves ? He knows upon this glorious theme. The personal they will not bear inspection. But it is not so with Christ's work. “It is " going forth in the dances of them that finished” to reflect the wisdom and make merry.” honour of him that has done it. It is September 5th was the last time of his worthy of God; it is safe to man. It is breaking bread unto his church, just a replete with wonder. Whom he loves, month previous to his departure: he then he never leaves; whom he pardons, he observed, what an healthy state Zion never condemns; whom he designs for would be in if every mouth was opened heaven, shall never go to hell! Aim to in prayer, and every heart rendering a remember these short truths. All the tribute of praise to the Lord! The Lord intercession of Christ in heaven will not has been very sparing of outward ordicontradict his prayers on earth. If the nances to his people; he has not spread attributes of God are not maintained, out a number of punctileoes, as when we are out at sea; but justice is on the under the law, which every one must throne; and those for whom Christ died attend unto or be damned. Be more concan never be damned! I would as soon cerned for the favor of God upon you, believe the sun and moon to be self than for the removal of your trying created, as that those for whom Christ thorn. Ask his grace to be sufficient for suffered, shall die. The members are you. Jesus Christ is like a good springquitted in their head. The Saviour had ing well; there is always a supply, which an object in view; this he never lost the coming bucket can never empty; we sight of, “ Thine they were and thou need not be afraid of exhausting the gavest them me." Thus there is a con- subject. Christ sets a high value on nection of principle from the basis to those on whom we set no value; whilst the top stone of the plan.”
those on whom the world sets great But John Steven's ministry is now
value he esteems no more than the dust ended! In a little outline of his own
of the floor.' history :-he says, “It is now about fifty
He concluded by observing he must years since I first attempted to speak to
only preach once on the Lord's-day in the villagers among whom I was born
future, feeling his weakness returning and brought up, of the things I had|!
a upon him. Four months ago he exheard and believed. My father's father?
pressed, at the table, his not being able was a truly good man, and was in the
to speak more than once on the Sabbath, habit of at times praying and expound.
and his uncomfortableness on that ac. ing the scriptures to his neighbours. In
count. He was advised to try a change his house, and at his desire, and the
of air for a few weeks; he did so; he
returned improved in health; and again request of other friends, I ventured to make an attempt to declare what I knew
for about two months attended to his of Christ and his great salvation.
| labours as usual. pleased the God of all grace to bless my
September the 19th, the anniversary of feeble labours to the conversion of
his chapel, witnessed the termination of several young persons, some of whom
his public ministrations in the morning continue to this day ; one of them was
service; this was his last effort in public; hearing me on the 31st of May.”
I was not present, but heard that it was
delivered in pain of body, and he was But when I usually heard Mr. Stevens on the same subject with which he comwith the sweetest power, was in min- menced in London his ministry – Christ istering the Lord's Supper. For the was once offered to bear the sins of many,' last twelvemonth he seemed to speak or a crucified Christ. Thus, as I heard (and generally there was one old mem-him observe, a month before, at the ber after another dropping off during table, (August 1st) he said, 'It was said the month,) as if conscious the time of by one, of Eyles Pierce's preaching, that his departure was at hand. But always it was always one subject: ah, said another, with a very lively faith; he never it was a good one-the election of the seemed to me to be fully delivered from Father-redemption by Christ—and the the fear of death. The stealing tear work of the Spirit: we don't want any would be seen at times starting forth, other, or a better.' when reflecting upon his own unworthy- From this time Mr. Stevens' health ness, and his inability-until the glory of began to decay fast, he was unable to the Redeemer's rights and honours were supply his pulpit the following Lord'stouched-then his soul seemed at home, day. Mr. Murrell, of St. Noet's, called
on him on the 25th. Mr. Murrell said from my infant hours, to my seventieth from the pulpit, he had been on the year; though sin has all aiong dwelt in past evening with Mr. Stevens, he had my heart, and too frequently discovered said to him, with the tears dropping from itself in my words and ways. I have his eyes, I have no clothes of my own grown old, but I have not attained to to stand in before God, but the garment perfection. My heart is as it ever has of Christ's righteousness, and have no- been naturally, the seat of every evil thing to plead but his blood and righteous-thing: nor do I expect this leprosy to be ness before the throne. Mr. Murrell | fully cured, until the house of it is taken remarked to him that on the near ap-down. It is destined to a final dissoluproach of death, brought to the brink of tion; God's honour, and my greatest the grave, it simplifies things, and brings happiness require it should come down matters to a small compass-Christ all to the dust, out of which it was first in all.
raised. Several warnings have been From the nature of Mr Stevens's given of the owner's design concerning it, complaint his medical advisers requested but it must doubtless stand its time, acno one to speak to him during the last cording to his will. His right in it is few days of his earthly existence, unless greater than mine; and I am glad to himself spake and wished it; and which know that all needful repairs are in his seems to have been strictly attended | hand, and that no power can eject me to, save the last day, when his brother contrary to his will. He brought me had some sweet talk with him. But into my bodily dwelling place, about what he so long delighted in ---PRIVATE seventy years since, and has upheld me PRAYER, was now very sweetly realized, therein, until this day; I have worshipped and which in early days was so much him therein with no small pleasure, and enjoyed, as himself testifies on his birth-daily acknowledge his supreme right in day observations, when at the age of it, giving it up to his service, by faith seventy- Private prayer was my chief and humble prayer. My great desire is medium of enjoyment and satisfaction ; that the God of peace may sanctify me to this I usually attended, repeatedly in wholly, and that my whole spirit and · the day, by the hedges in the fields; or soul, and body, may be preserved blamein any place where I had opportunity. less, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus I was much encouraged by musing on Christ: he has kindly given me the earncertain hymns that I used to repeat est of his spirit, until the final redemption while at my work. The exercises now takes place, and the purchased possesalluded to took place about five and fifty sion shall be realised, when I trust that years ago, the remembrance of those I shall be favored to see him as he is, and early days is still at times made sweet be for ever like him. To the Eternal and profitable. Very pertinent too is Triune God be glory in the church of the following from the fore cited re- Christ Jesus throughout all ages, and flections upon and by himself.
world without end. Amen. • Having arrived at the age of man,
JOHN STEVENS.' my journey is growing short, and my This leprous house came down, after departure hastening on. Still, I can standing seventy-two years, on Wedneshave no discharge from office, until my day, October 6ïh, 1847, having a peacework is done. No man can do what is able dismission therefrom. I have no appointed to be done by me, nor will my death-bed sayings to record : others may Lord suffer my strength to utterly fail, have. Mr. Stevens died in the faith he till all things concerning my service are had so many years known the worth of, accomplished. He well knows that if he without denying his name. To the Lord has allotted certain work to be done by the Spirit be all the glory. H.W. his aged servant, he must enable him to accomplish it. Without him I can do
THE FUNERAL. nothing,' and in him is all my trust and On Friday, October 15th, the mortal hope. These are not views that I have remains of Mr John Stevens, were taken lately formed; they are what I have to, and placed in the catacombs of Highacknowledged, more or less, for half-a- gate Cemetery. century. *** Looking back on the The funeral cortegé, consisting of bepast, I perceive the Lord's mercy, his tween twenty and thirty mourning coachmerit, and his power, in my preservation es, and upwards of thirty other carriages left the house of the deceased minister | the evening by Mr. J. Foreman. At no shortly after one o'clock; and by its ex- former time has Salem Chape! been so traordinary length, attracted the atten- thronged, as on this occasion, especially tion of vast numbers of persons, on its in the evening, when every corner of the way to the cemetery. Beside those in the chapel was literally crammed, and numcarriages, many followed on foot; the bers went away long before the services whole evincing the high esteem in which commenced. With some few exceptions, Mr. Stevens was held. The long pro. the members of the church were dressed cession reached the cemetery about half- in black. The greatest respect appeared past two o'clock, where a multitude of to be shewn to their departed pastor. In people had already assembled.
the morning, Mr. Murrell on rising to The massive coffin being removed from preach said “It is with some reluctance the hearse, (borne by eight men,) was that I occupy this pulpit on this solemn carried to one end of the cemetery; and occasion. I would that the choice of the placed on rails near to its last resting church had fallen upon some man of God place, where a small temporary covering | more competent than myself. I can was provided for such ministers as were preach, in the country, a plain gospel to officiate on the occasion.
sermon; (and many such, God has been The solemn service commenced, by pleased to bless :) but upon an extraorMr. Felton, (of Deptford,) who offered dinary and solemn occasion like this, I up a most suitable prayer. Mr. George have not the mind-I have not the nerve. Murrell, (of St. Neot's,) then delivered But I cannot refuse the voice of the a short address, in which, he spoke of whole church, to appear before you this the deceased as a minister of no ordinary morning. The words that have occurred character, and of the heavy loss which to me, as peculiarly suitable to our de. the church had sustained in his death; parted brother, you will find in 2 Tim. but, in consequence of the service being iv. 7, 8. 'I have fought,'" &c. conducted quite in a corner of the ceme. In the evening, Mr. J. Foreman, previtery, it was but very few out of the im- ous to reading his text, made a fcw remense 'numbers assembled, that could marks nearly as follow:even catch the most distant sound of “I feel I would rather that you had chosen what was said. The mourners and friends any one else than myself for this solemn ocof the deceased were to be seen sitting casion ; but you have made your choice; and about on the graves and tomb stones,
Fromh stone: I am come to answer it. It is not because I weeping in all parts of the cemetery, not
| did not like our brother Stevens; for, in being able to join in the funeral service.
I point of affection, I could not have given
place to a second in the kingdom. We so After Mr. Murrell had concluded the
understood each other, that I could always address, Mr. Wyard gave out the 109th call him. “My very dear senior brother ;' hymn, in Mr. Stevens's Selection; the and he, in return, used to call me his dear singing of which had a very solemn effect, brother John.' And, while the world have in producing the most profound silence, had so many opinions concerning him, I and in drawing forth the deepest sym- have ever entertained but one ; and that is, pathies of the people. The hymn being 'He was a man of God, through sovereign sung, and the benediction pronounced, grace,' I don't know that ever any thing cut the corpse was then taken into that place
me so deep, as an anonyomus letter sent to
him twelve years ago. It was what I called assigned for it. Never did we behold such a gather
a piece of midnight assassination. I don't
know that ever I felt occasion to pray for ing of pastors, preachers, and itinerant
any one as I did for him, on that occasion. labourers in the truth before. Ministers
Our brother Stevens was the same all his life (both great and small,) were to be seen time. The coat that he wore fifty years ago, congregated together in all directions. he wore up to the last. He was like one that Among them we noticed the venerable didn't live in the world; for none of the John Lucombe, Mr. John Foreman, changes in others, or new doctrines had any Messrs. Denham, Castleden, Bowes, Box, effect upon him.” The words selected as a Gittens, Bayfield, Moyll, Milner, Curtis, text, will be found in the fiftieth chapter of Bonner, Irish, (of Warboys) Thomas Genesis, and sixth verse. “And he believed Stringer, Alderson, Woodward, B. Lewis,
in the Lord, and he counted it to him for and many others.
righteousness." On Sunday, October 24, funeral ser- [The substance of these discourses, and mons were preached at Salem Chapel. other interesting particulars, will be In the Morning, by Mr. G. Murrell : in found in subsequent pages of this No.]